Monday, February 25, 2008

The Infamous Grey Hat


Pattern: The Love Child of We Call Them Pirates and Domiknitrix's Skull Chart

Yarn: Knit Picks's Telemark, 1 skein Snow Leopard, One Skein Black
Elann's Devon, 1 skein Pumpkin, for the liner

Needles: 2 Size 3 Addi Turbos

Modifications: Where do I begin with this hat. There was no pattern for this hat. I was merely instructed to knit a grey hat with a large black skull. I was excited to knit this (because how cool is that skull?!!!!) until I realized this would not be fun stranded knitting. This would mean intarsia. I would need to knit the skull in intarsia. And I am sooooo bad at intarsia. I'm sure I'd be better at intarsia now that I've got more knitting experience under my belt. But still. Intarsia is one of those knitting techniquest that makes me want to drink. But the teenage boy wanted a grey hat with a huge black skull so a grey hat with a big black skull he shall get!

So the hat would need to be knit with intarsia using one large ball of grey yarn, four small balls of grey yarn, and three small balls of black yarn. And maybe some stranded knitting for the teeth. That's a lot of string to dangle around. And it would need to be knit back and forth on straight needles instead of in the round, then seamed. Plus it would need a liner, so the liner would need to be knit first, then attatched like a knit in hem. Only that would make it harder to seam. So I would have to knit the liner, knit the hat/skull with eight pieces of yarn dangling, then seam hat and liner (praying a seam in a hat isn't too uncomfortable to wear), then sew the top of the liner in place.

The whole process made my head hurt, so I took all the yarn and stuffed it in the bottom of my knitting bag. Over the next few months I would periodically take the project out, feel faint, and promptly stuff it back in the knitting bag. I finally reached the point where my guilt over not knitting the hat was more painful the the thought of actually knitting the hat. So I pulled it out and looked it over. I reviewed my graph, my gauge measurements, my little pattern diagram. I might have died a little inside and I cast on. And I immediately frogged it. Then I cast on again. Repeat this process three more times when I had an epiphany (althought it might have been a small stroke). No need for intarsia! Knit a grey hat in the round then sew the skull on using duplicate knit. I still had to sew the liner in place when I was all done, but there was no uncomfortable seam and the skull is uber-cool! I was done in a matter of days.


Review: This is my favorite hat ever! The Greatest has already requested one, only he would like The Punisher Skull on his hat. And I guess he's been talking about it at work because he came home the other day and informed me that I will need to knit Punisher hats for his entire squad. Knitpicks has discontinued their Telemark in Snow Leopard, so I guess I'd better order some more now before they're gone.


Cass said...

WOW!!! holy cow that's AWESOME!!! What a lucky kid. that's just sweet.

Bezzie said...

Holy crap. That whole post made MY head hurt! The duplicate stitching of that entire skull is still mighty impressive (it still blows my mind like intarsia in the round does!)

On the plus side that Punisher skull looks a bit more easy to stitch.

rita said...

My 4-year-old grandson has become a pirate, and this would be so perfect for him--except that he lives in Orlando.

You did a great job!

D Martin said...

What about double knitting? The liner is attached, no stranding, no intarsia. And it's simple: if you can knit and purl, you can double knit.

taffi said...

holy camoly. I had no idea it was so hard! I'm so sorry! I'll be sure to beat the kid with a wet noodle when he wakes up.

he still loves it, though. still wearing it into spring.

still trying to come up with some fabulous thank you gift, too.